Signing of Indo-US agreement of BECA is a key development in the region. It is being viewed with concern by a few and as a milestone achievement of India by the rest. Indeed it emboldens India but it may be fallacious. Three global transitions are well accepted. Firstly, future is Asian; secondly, power is shifting from West to East and thirdly, China is waxing power while the US is a waning power. Seen in view of our region it is also a fact that while the US is a distant power; China is India’s neighbour.
In earlier play of geopolitics in the region, Pakistan repeatedly came to centre stage of rivalry of giants. Both of the times, Pakistan was made to play fighting role for the US. Pakistan suffered terribly for this dirty bidding for the US. While Pakistan suffered India had a hey-day. This time round, in the ongoing rivalry of the US and China while India is visibly doing fighting part for the US, Pakistan will get an opportunity for growth and development.
In 2018 at RUSI London, in a conversation with DA of India, I cautioned him that I saw India on route to fighting and I also urged him that in greater interest of the region, India should desist from doing that. He challenged my view and I explained to him by projecting the future rivalry in Indian Ocean. Things are unfolding much earlier than I had anticipated. With conflict at Ladakh still simmering, India is treading on a dangerous path. Dangerous for the region and even more menacing for itself.
US has been a very self-centred power. They once left Pakistan high and dry after winning Cold War. They will this time abandon India in similar fashion after losing rivalry with China. By then India would have been fleeced of its money for buying expensive US war equipment and will be left to the mercy of neighbouring giant ie China. It is preordained and it is a writing on the wall.
In an arms race vs Pakistan, India had an edge. In arms race vs China India will be at disadvantage. Given the present state of Indian economy where it is being termed as sick economy of the region, arms race will further aggravate Indian economic woes.
All along in its history India has been ruthless to rest of the states in the region. It has been overbearing, boorish and condescending with its smaller neighbours. As South Asia is transiting from India-centric to China-centric, smaller neighbours of India are getting emboldened and they have started to challenge India. There will be a time once India will be nibbled by its neighbours who remained oppressed by it.
India present leadership is eying at short term gains while being oblivious to long term impact.